HISTORY OF JASPER COUNTY POOR FARM

from "The History of Jasper County"   Chicago.  Western History Company.  Pub. 1878. 
Poorhouse Section on p. 438 - 440

submitted by Janalee Garn 

 THE POOR FARM

    September 4, 1867, J. Kipp, Salem Jeffries and David Edmundson were chosen a committee to select a poor farm, and to report at the January meeting of the Board.

   October 14th, J. Kipp, submitted the following motion, which was carried, and himself appointed to perform the duty specified:

 Resolved by the Board of Supervisors, That a committee of one be appointed to visit the Poor Farm of Wapello, Van Buren and Lee Counties for the purpose of obtaining information in regard to locating and keeping in operation a Poor Farm, with instructions to report to this Board at  the January term, 1868.

    January 10, 1868, it was

   Resolved by the Board of Supervisors, That  David Edmundson, E. H. Bartow and G. W. Chinn be and are hereby constituted a committee with full powers to select and purchase a Poor Farm; said farm to contain not less than one hundred and sixty acres, and the price per acre not to exceed forty-five dollars per ace. Said farm to be not less than four miles from Newton. Said Edmundson, Bartow and Chinn are empowered, as Directors, to take possession of said farm for the use of Jasper County, and to purchase the necessary teams, tools and farming implements required to put said farm in operation, and to employ an Overseer or Steward, as  contemplated by law, and as soon as said premises are ready for the reception of paupers, said Directors shall cause the Clerk of the Board to give notice of the same to the Township Trustees of the different Townships in the County, and no person shall be admitted as a pauper without a written order from the Trustees of the respective Townships. Said Directors are empowered to make the necessary repairs to the Poor House; Provided, however, That the cost of said repairs shall not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars.

     And for the purpose of purchasing a farm, etc. as contemplated in the foregoing resolution, the said [committee] are authorized to draw on the Treasurer of the County for the amount of the Poor House Fund, and, if necessary, may use as a loan part of the Relief Fund in order to carry out the intention of this resolution.

     Said committee or Directors will continue to discharge the duties as Directors of the Poor Farm until the next term of the Board of Supervisors, and then make a full report to the Board of their proceedings and actions.

    The committee performed the duty confided to them with dispatch; for on the 25th of the same month they received a deed from S. H. Wilson for the land now in use as a Poor Farm, it being 203 ¾ acres in Section 6, Buena Vista, the price paid being $9,666.50.

    At the January meeting in 1869, a committee of three was appointed to visit the Farm to make a general inspection and to report on the necessity of erecting additional buildings. On the 8th the Directors of the Farm reported as follows:

    The undersigned, Directors of the Jasper County Poor Farm, appointed at the June term (1868) of said Board, beg leave to report:  We find that prior to our appointment, the Commissioners appointed at the January term, 1868, to purchase Poor Farm and put the same in operation, had drawn orders on the Poor House Fund for the amount of $12,291.11, for payment of Farm, purchase    of stock, farming utensils, supplies, and for making repairs and improvements.  The Treasurer’s reports will show what amount of said orders have been paid.

   Since our appointment, we have approved bills for the purchase of stock, making improvements, for labor and supplies in the amount of $2,220.21, which bills have been allowed by the Board, and orders drawn on the County Fund for the payment.

       We find that an excellent crop has been raised on the farm the past season, consisting of 650 bushels of corn, 225 bushels of potatoes, 40 bushels of apples, 25 gallons of sorghum molasses, 15 tons of hay and a good supply of garden vegetables; all of which is still on hand, except so much as has been used for the support of the house and farm.

     The committee further reported there were on the Farm four horses, ten head of cattle, fifty-three head of swine and $225 worth of farm implements.  An addition to the house had been made, the cellar enlarged, and a crib and hog pen had been built, besides other improvements.

    They found the affairs of the House and Farm to have been well managed by Mr. And Mrs. Foltz, whom they retained as Steward and Matron.

    Twelve persons had been received since the opening of the house in April preceding, and one discharged, leaving eleven inmates.  Three others the committee advised to be returned to Ohio, from whence they had come.

    Up to December 31, 1870, there had been expended on the Farm, in addition to the purchase money, $2,892.89. This did not include the cost of the new buildings, for which a special appropriation was made from the Swamp Land and Insane Funds, of $2,000, and was erected at a cost of $2,050.64, beside the sum of $25 paid one of the Directors for superintending the work.

    The expenditure for the year ending April, 1878, was $1,955.73, partly met by sales of products from the Farm, amounting to $555,60.

    The crop in 1877 consisted of 203 bushels of wheat, 225 bushels of potatoes, 25 bushels of onions, 2,000 bushels of corn and 125 bushels of appels, beside hay and vegetables. Thirty-seven pigs had been raised and there were on hand forty-four swine.

    The average number of inmates during the year was twenty-two. There were two births, but no deaths.

    B. Aydellotte was again chosen Steward of the Farm for two years, ending in 1880, and it is to be hoped that this honored pioneer may live many years to care for the poor and infirm of Jasper County.